BOOKS

  • One of Amazon.com science editors' Top 10 list for Science, Best for 2009

  • One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009

This book is a collection of physical paradoxes and puzzles. A typical example: you are in a spaceship, playing with a helium-filled balloon.  With your back to the wall, you kick the balloon; this causes the space ship move (just a bit) in the opposite direction, right? Actually, no. But I first "prove" that it is right, and then give the correct argument, pinpointing the defect in the wrong but highly convincing "proof".   Quite a few people were actually convinced by my deliberately false proofs at first, until reading the corrections.  

“It is hard to imagine a more original and insightful approach to classical mechanics. Most physicists would regard this as a well-worn and settled subject. But Mark Levi’s treatment sparkles with freshness, in the many examples he treats and his unexpected analogies, as well as the new approach he brings to the principles. This is inspired pedagogy at the highest level.”  

-- Sir Michael Berry, Wolf Prize in Physics, Lorentz Medal

 

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